By comparison, a recent United Nations forecast projected global economic growth at 3 percent worldwide and 2.5 percent in the U.S. for 2014.
CompTIA's quarterly IT Industry Business Confidence Index increased 2.1 percentage points in Q1 2014, to 60.2 on a 100-point scale. The forward-looking component of the index projects a gain of 2.2 points, which if realized, would mark a record high in the five-plus year history of the survey. The index is based on IT executives' opinions of the U.S. economy, the IT industry and their own company.
"The importance of technology to business success has never been greater as IT continues to transition from supporting tool to a strategic driver," said Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA.
A range of technologies - cloud computing, mobile apps, big data and others - have gained a bigger foothold with customers over the past two years, he noted, though rising industry business confidence is offset to some degree by margin pressures in key product categories.
Looking ahead to 2014, IT services and software show the most growth potential, according to the CompTIA forecast. IT hardware is projected to grow at a slightly lower rate, due partially to more intense margin pressure.
On the employment front, 41 percent of IT companies plan increased investments in staffing in technical positions this year, compared to 15 percent that plan staffing decreases. Among non-technical positions, 32 percent of firms plan increases and 16 percent decreases. The data suggests medium-sized IT firms will be the most aggressive in hiring for both technical and non-technical positions.
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